March 11, 2022
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Staff,
As of this past Wednesday, March 9th, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Department of Education updated the Standard Operating Procedure to move toward optional masking for both students and staff. This change is due to the current stability in COVID-19 trends in Maine and could change if a new variant emerges increasing transmission rates. We encourage students and staff who are not quite ready to shed their mask or may themselves be, or have family members who are considered, high-risk to please feel comfortable wearing their mask while at school.
Please review the FAQs (linked here and below) for specifics about the updated changes and how our schools will move forward. Overall, the following procedures will be in place to ensure everyone is safe based on the updated guidance:
Continued masking will be optional for both students and staff.
Pooled testing will continue.
Students and staff should continue to practice layered prevention strategies for reducing transmission, including frequent handwashing, monitoring symptoms and staying home if sick, and using physical distancing when feasible.
A positive test will require a five (5) day isolation from the date of symptom onset or from the date of the positive test, regardless of vaccination status. If no symptoms are present, the individual may return to school with masking required for days 6-10.
The school department will continue to monitor any data available to them regarding community and county transmission, pooled testing results, absentee rates, and vaccination rates.
If you have a question not addressed in these FAQs, please submit them to email@example.com.
With spring right around the corner and a few teaser days in the past couple of weeks, we are already starting to plan for the next school year. Pre-K and Kindergarten Screening is now open, budget planning season is upon us, step-up days are being planned, adolescent students are selecting their courses, and the Center of Technology is enrolling students in career and technical educational opportunities. It is a busy time and the next few months will go by quickly. We hope students and their families will enjoy the upcoming concerts and plays, the spring sports season, and the numerous opportunities to get outside. I have included some more information on these items below in my newsletter.
Superintendent of Schools
Please read for more information regarding optional masking, pooled testing, transportation, contact tracing, spacing between students, and school procedures.
Pre-K and Kindergarten registration is now open!
Upcoming Performances by our Students
Musical Willy Wonka Jr.
Thursday, March 24 @ 6:30pm
Friday, March 25 @ 6:30pm
BMS Performing Arts Center
Cost: Free (Donations will be accepted)
Biddeford Middle School students will perform the adventures of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory lighting up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl's fantastical tale. This production features a 32-student cast, a 13-student set and scenery group, and several students providing tech.
Best of Broadway Musical
Friday, April 29 @ 7:30pm
Saturday, April 30 @ 2:00pm or 7:30pm
BMS Performing Arts Center
Biddeford High School students will be participating in this high-energy, fun, entertaining production featuring some of Broadway's favorite song-and-dance numbers. Directed and choreographed by Deb Lombard, this production features 18 cast members, a student crew, over 300 costumes, and a 16-number show. Parent volunteers are needed to assist with the show. If you are interested in helping, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come out and support our performing arts students!
The Bridge: Special Donor Edition
Our Outstanding Volunteers Nominated!
Congratulations to the individuals listed below on being nominated for the Portland Sea Dogs Volunteer Appreciation Night sponsored by Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution (SBSI). This event recognizes those who selflessly donate their time and work hard to help others to better their communities. Each nominee will receive two general admission tickets, courtesy of SBSI, for the game on Wednesday, April 20th at 6:00pm.
Annie volunteers her time three days a week in a kindergarten classroom. She is always willing to do whatever is asked of her. Annie has been doing this for years and the students at JFK love the time she spends with them. Thank you, Annie!
Jo-Anna is an active member of Biddeford Primary School’s Parent Council and helps build a positive community connection between school and home.
Tina comes in EVERY Friday to help teachers at Biddeford Intermediate School. She has been doing this for years and is so devoted to helping our staff!
Doug ALWAYS goes above and beyond to do whatever is needed or necessary to help others, not only at Biddeford Middle School but throughout our district. Thank you, Doug.
Joyce goes above and beyond on a daily basis to make sure that our high school students are finding success. Joyce is the first to volunteer to help cover a class or pitch in on a committee. In addition, she can be found at most sporting events, supporting Biddeford High School in the community, and is a wonderful ambassador for the good work that we are doing.
Andrew works with students at the Alternative Pathways Center in order to meet not only their academic but also social-emotional needs. He has worked with students over the summer as well as extended his day in order to help students. He is the first to volunteer to help out whenever asked.
IN THE NEWS: Making dreams come true at school to help improve students' mental health
Youth Leadership in Action
Congratulations to the Biddeford Teen Center's newest officers, who were recently sworn in by Executive Assistant Kendi Norton and Mayor Alan Casavant!
Chase Lessard - President
Rachel Smart - Vice President
J. Hovasse - Secretary
Jayden Pagliano - Treasurer
The purpose of the Teen Center Committee is to assist Recreation Department staff by helping to establish center policies and rules. They also provide information to staff on what the members would like to see and do, such as trips, special events, or new equipment. The committee has also been active in fundraising, both for community organizations and on behalf of the Center.
Committee members are nominated and elected by their peers. The group is instrumental in continuing to make the center “theirs” for all the teens that attend! To learn more about the Teen Center, contact Biddeford Recreation at 207-283-0841.
School Nutrition Program
The School Nutrition Program is having a great year serving students breakfast and lunch, and we are so happy to see and serve children in person this year. Breakfast and lunch are FREE for ALL children, and will also be free again next school year! Because meals are no cost for all children, more children than ever are eating school breakfast and lunch in grades PreK through grade 12. Every day, approximately 982 students (42%) eat school breakfast and 1,380 (60%) eat school lunch in Biddeford and approximately 54 students (48%) eat school breakfast and 83 (73%) eat school lunch in Dayton.
What type of meals are served to students?
Our school cafeterias meet strict federal nutrition standards for school meals, ensuring that meals are well-balanced and provide students the nutrition they need to succeed at school. These guidelines include age-appropriate calorie limits, whole grains, larger servings of vegetables and fruits (students must select at least one serving), a wider variety of vegetables (including dark greens and red/orange vegetables and legumes), and fat-free or 1% Oakhurst milk.
What are the most popular meals?
We strive to provide homemade meals that are popular with children, including homemade mac and cheese and other pasta dishes, shepherd’s pie, roast turkey dinner, tacos, brunch for lunch, and mandarin orange chicken over brown rice. The pizza we serve is made with whole-grain crust and low-fat mozzarella cheese, as are the cheese-filled “Bosco” breadsticks with marinara dipping sauce- a student favorite. Chicken tenders, nuggets, and sandwiches offer Tyson antibiotic-free chicken, with whole-grain breading especially made for schools, as well as Rich Chicks clean-label chicken.
Do students have vegetarian options?
Vegetarian choices are available at lunch, including peanut butter and jelly sandwich (or sunbutter and jelly sandwich at JFK, BPS and BIS). Whenever possible, we serve local produce, purchased from Native Maine Produce, and are partnering with local farmers during the growing season to purchase and serve local produce.
Healthy Updates from "LET'S GO 5210"
Click here for Drive-Thru COVID Testing information, reporting positive cases, submitting vaccine records, pooled testing consents, and nurse contact information.